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planning for December....
||December is a busy month
for recreation therapists, activity directors, and any activity
worker. This can be a stressful period for clients. Good recreation
programming will involve clients in the planning process.
Special Events Days || Facts || Birthdays || Poem || Activities
Special Event Days
- 2nd Week- Tell Someone
They're Doing a Good Job Week
- eve of 25th day of Hebrew
month of Kislev- Hanukkah
- 6- Feast of Saint Nicholas
celebrated in several countries in Europe
- 12- Guadeloupe Day in
- 13- St. Lucia Day in
- 21 or 22- Winter Begins
- 21- Forefather's Day
in New England in honor of landing of Pilgrims at
- 24- Christmas Eve
- 25- Christmas Day
- 26- Boxing Day, National
Holiday in England, Australia, New Zealand + few
- 26- St. Stephen's Day,
- 26 to Jan 1-Kwanzaa,
celebration by black Americans to honor customs of
- 31- You're All Done Day
- Birthstone- Turquoise
- Flower- Poinsettia
- 5- 1818, Illinois admitted
to the Union
- 7- Japanese forces attach
Pearl Harbor in 1941
- 8- Chinese Nationalists
flee the mainland, moving their capital to Formosa
- 8- John Lenin of the
Beatles shot and killed in NY City, 1980
- 11- 1816, Indiana admitted
to the Union
- 12- Marconi received
the 1st radio signal sent across the Atlantic Ocean,
- 14- 1819, Alabama admitted
to the Union
- 17- Orville Wright made
1st heavier-than-air flight at Kitty Hawk in 1903
- 18- Amendment 13 ending
slavery was proclaimed in 1865
- 20- The US took over
Louisiana in 1803
- 21- The Pilgrims landed
at Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620
- 25- Christmas, celebrated
by Christians as the birthday of Jesus Christ
- 28- 1846, Iowa admitted
to the Union
- 29- 1845, Texas admitted
to the Union
- 1- Lee Trevino (1939)
- 1- Woody Allen (1935)
- 5- Walt Disney (1901)
- 8- Sammy Davis, Jr. (1925)
- 10- Emily Dickinson (1830)
- 12- Frank Sinatra (1915)
- 16- Margaret Mead (1901)
- 21- Phil Donahue (1935)
- 25- Issac Newton (1642)
- 26- Steve Allen (1921)
- 29- Ted Danson (1947)
- 31- John Denver (1943)
"Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads."
Attributed to Clement
Christmas Decorations out of Clay
This lesson was prepared for Allowah Presbyterian Childrens Hospital
by Michelle Golding
Objective: Students will manipulate clay and use brushes to apply slip. Students will observe/feel the changes in clay from impermanent to permanent states. Students will make a pottery item that can be given as a gift.
Note: This could be used as a series of lessons or just one lesson depending on the ability of students. It can be beneficial to photograph the various stages of the process as an additional learning tool and then make up a poster as a permanent record.
Students: This lesson can be used for a small group and adapted depending on ability. Special care and individual attention needs to be given for students inclined to mouth objects. Slip is liquid clay with oxides and stains mixed in.
Materials: Terracotta or earthenware clay, heavy calico or newspaper for rolling clay onto, rolling pin, circular lid for cutting out circles of clay (6 or 7cm in diameter), a straw for making the hanging hole, a sponge, coloured slips (green, dark pink, yellow, white and blue), paper Christmas cutout stencil shapes (see below), several soft brushes, clear gloss glaze, Christmas ribbon, carving tools or pencils.
Kiln or kiln service.
Safety issues: Keep dust to a minimum by using wet sponges to clean up, keep clay blocks covered with plastic when not used. Use aprons and make sure all clay is cleaned off students at the end of the session.
- Roll out clay to a thickness of approximately 6 or 7mm. Cut out circular shapes using the lid or egg ring. Cut the straw into 3cm lengths and use this to make a hole approx. 1cm from top or circles. (This could be done in advance by the teacher if students are unable to do this). Students could make 2 or 3 each.
- Write student name on the back as well as a Christmas message such as Merry Christmas, Seasons Greetings, Peace or Love. †At this point students could touch the clay and make some light markings on them (if the markings are deep the cutouts wonít apply properly and the coloured slips may run underneath).
- Lightly sponge the tops of the circles and apply the cutouts in various patterns. The moisture will assist with making the cutouts stick to the clay.
- Have a brush in each colour of slip. Use one colour or several colours over the top of the cutouts. Use fairly thick amount of slip and quick brushstrokes. Letting a colour dry out a bit before application of another will stop colours from running together (although this can be a nice effect). Have water available to clean brushes between colours as needed.
- Burnishing option: When clay is leather hard (still has some moisture in it but firm to the touch), you can use the back of a spoon and rub gently to give a smooth finish on the back of the works. You may need to re-carve the message as the burnishing will often smooth out that too!
- Once the slips have completely dried (overnight or less time if the weather is warm) gently lift off stencils to reveal the designs in terracotta beneath.
- Once completely bone dry bisque fire as per clay instructions.
- Sponge off bisque circles front and back. Apply clear gloss glaze.
- Glaze firing as per glaze instructions.
- Allow students to touch their finished pieces. You could also allow them to touch the unfired clay and the fired clay and have them describe or indicate soft/hard, wet/dry, smooth/rough verbally or using pictures.
- Apply ribbons or other trimmings to the pieces, they can be wrapped up effectively in clear cellophane paper with a chocolate as a lovely and unique handmade gift.
1. Make about 6 angels and fold over paper and cut out with scissors.
2. Fold up paper to make a †then cut out multiple trees like a paper doll then you drape a row of trees across the clay for a nice effect.
3. You can do a similar fold with the star to make a row of stars or single stars. They only need to be about 3 to 5cm in height.
Submitted by Kathleen Brigham
of Little Flower Manor on May 27, 2003
poster board, construction paper, colored foam,
paints, markers, etc.
orientation, artistic self expression, sharing
a bare tree from poster board, ( any size,
ours is about 3 feet high) Each season and
or holiday gather for ideas on what to put
on the tree, ( affix items with ""sticky
putty"" to remove easily) Example:
sponge paint leaves for the fall, cut out holly
from foam or construction paper for X-mas,
dreidles for Hanukah, flowers & birds in
spring, snowmen, suns etc. Decorate tree with
items. This makes a good central point near
perhaps the rooms bulletin board, is colorful
and good source of season orientation.
submitted by Ronda Sylvia on September 4, 2001
canes, Strips of fabric, glue.
fabric in 1 inch strips about 20inchs long. Glue
one end of fabric to top of candy cane. Then
start wrapping fabric around candy cane over
lapping some. When you get to the end glue to
fabric to the bottom. Let dry. Then let the residents
hang them on the Christmas tree. This activity
also stirs memories of Christmases of the past
submitted by Jeanne Hastings of Hastings Recreation Services, Inc.on December
Size of Group:
small or large
Cinnamon, apple sauce, bowl spoon, wax paper,
rolling pin, cookie cutters
Sensory Stimulation, Reality orientation, Cognitive
enhancement, relaxation, increase hand strength
Place cinnamon in a bowl. Slowly mix the apple
sauce in with the cinnamon You should have
a dough like consistency. Place dough on wax
paper and place another piece of wax paper
on top. Roll the doe with a rolling pin. Cut
out shapes with cookie cutters. You can use
other cookie decorations such as silver and
gold balls found in the cake decorating area
of the stores. Make a hole in the top and let
dry. It takes approx. 24 hrs to completely
dry. Thread a ribbon through the hole. These
are very fragrent but don't eat them.
| Wreath Puzzle
submitted by Darcy Miller of New Dawson Springs Nursing Home, KY on November
Green construction paper, puzzle pieces, tacky
glue, green spray paint, newspaper, thin red
ribbon, decorative string.
A fun way for clients to achieve a sense of
accoplishment and to include them in the decorating
process for Christmas.
Cut a circle from green construction paper
that measures approximately 3" in diameter.
Cut the middle out of the circle to leave a
wreath-like ring. Take puzzle pieces (I used
a puzzle that was missing pieces) and begin
gluing them onto the construction paper face
side up. Glue 2 more layers of puzzle pieces,
staggering the layers. Spray the wreath with
green spray paint(make sure you have plenty
of newspaper). While the paint is drying make
bows from the red ribbon. Then, glue the ribbon
to the front of the wreath and glue the decorative
string to the back so it can be hung from the
Card Ornament (activity
for individuals with dementia)
submitted by Brenda Dickinson,
R.T. of Life Enhancing Activity Program
on November 9, 1999
Size of Group:
Old xmas cards, scissors, tacky glue, green or
red felt, thin red or green ribbon, hole punch,
This activity is so easy that people with severe
dementia will enjoy. They will receive pleasure
looking at the colorful cards & feel successful
making an ornament for themselves or as a gift.
Put out a large number of old Xmas cars on a
table. Allow the residents, patients, etc. to
browse throught the cards & pick one they
like. Ask them to show the part of the card they
want cut out, such as Santa, xmas tree,etc...
Keep the size of the card appropriate for an
ornament. Trace the desired area with a dark
pen & have resident cut out if they are able
to. If not, the rec. ther. or act. dir. should
do. Glue felt to back of card & trim excess.
Punch hole on the top & put ribbon through
to make a loop to hang from tree. An instant
ornament & also makes a great gift for someone
the twelfth day of Christmas
Ask each person in the group at least one
question from the list below. If they answer
YES to one of the question, write their name
on the line beside the question.... then
go on to the next person and ask them another
question until the entire sheet is completed.
person name can only appear once on this sheet.
On the 12th day
1) have you ever
seen a real partridge on a pear tree? ________
2) do you still
believe in SANTA CLAUS? _______________________
3) have you ever
received a gift you really hated? What was
4) have you ever
been hit in the head or face with a snow ball?
5) have you ever
though you were going to die when skiing or
sled riding? ________
6) can you sing
the first lines to FROSTY THE SNOW MAN? Prove
7) do you like fruit
8) have you ever
been kissed under a mistletoe? ____________
9) can you name
all of Santa's reindeers? _________________
10) do you know
what Santa's original hair color was? ______________
11) when you were
a kid, did you cry or were scared when you
had to sit on Santa's lap? _____
12) when you were
a kid, did you ever stay up all night trying
to catch Santa? ______________
When done, turn
this sheet to your group leader.
Activities & Tx pages sponsored by compuTR and maintained by Charles Dixon
If reprinting ideas from these pages, please give credit.